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It’s more the combination of food/venue and the end of the year trophies that is a bit pricey. Many venues offer food/catering, but have minimum tabs.
On one hand, we *could* book the venue separate and pay for our own catering, but that brings with it the risk that we can end up with a lot of leftovers (if attendance is low) or run completely out of food (if too high). That’s the nice thing about having Barley’s host it and do the food because we could tell them when to stop. Our initial search for other venues and throwing catering on top would not really save us any money (or could even end up costing more). But we are certainly open for ideas on venues and/or catering options! Not that we have a problem with Barley’s, but a cheaper alternative is always welcome.
Venue would need to be able to accomodate 70-100 people, have an adequate parking situation, and preferably be within a reasonable drive of the Asheville area. All things considered, our ideal budget for food/venue would be around $1,000. We ran into a problem last year when many people who did not RSVP or pay beforehand showed up. So I think this year we may need to enforce the “+1 only” rule (and membership status) if we choose not to charge extra (however, I don’t think that will cover what we hope to raise).